SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
Sustaining an environmental project in an urban habitat

Jill Oron, Noam Weiss, Reuven Yosef
International Birding & Research Centre in Eilat, P. O. Box 774, Eilat 88000, Israel

The International Birding and Research Center in Eilat is a lot more than a ringing and research station. It has developed over the last ten years into an amazing sanctuary on the edge of an ever-increasing city. In this presentation we explain the way in which we sustain such a project in the long term. The IBRCE is a non-profit NGO, which means that we have to find all our funding. Our first concern is conservation. We were given the local garbage dump by the municipality and have transformed it into a haven for migratory birds and local wildlife. We have a rehabilitation center for injured and exhausted birds as well as providing an area for the half billion birds that pass over the region twice a year to rest and feed. But how does it pay? We have split our targets into four areas. 1. Research ? we bid for research projects in the region. In the past two years we have completed two environmental impact studies for the Israel Electricity Company and The Israel Airports Authority. 2. Tourism ? has been on-going at the IBRCE on a very low level but has been developed extensively in the past year. We now offer a wide range of services in guiding and lecturing 3. Professional Services ? We offer help to farmers in a variety of ways ? whether it is by catching Bee-eaters in melon fields, Sylvia warblers in vineyards, or Ring-necked Parakeets in date palms. All birds are released after ringing them well away from the fields. We are also involved in an ongoing project to reduce the numbers of invasive Indian House Crows now causing problems in Eilat. 4. Education ? Noam teaches in two schools in Eilat and we also host many schools at the Bird Sanctuary. Dr Reuven Yosef lectures at Ben Gurion University and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. We invite everyone in SEEN to come and visit!

Created by Pronetix 2006